And the Prize for the Most Money Goes To…

No one. You don’t give out prizes for making the most money. Making the most money is the prize!

“Hey, Tim, you made the most money! Congrats! Here’s a membership to Netflix.” Um, what? Just give me more money, I’ll buy my own damn membership to Netflix!

You give out prizes as rewards when people can’t make more money.  And the prize for the best customer service goes to, Billy! Good job, Billy! Here’s a gift card to Applebee’s for $25!

Organizations are constantly giving out ‘prizes’. We give out prizes for being the best employee. We give out prizes for finishing a project faster than we thought you could finish a project. We give out prizes for showing up to work every day.

I think it might be the first thing you learn at leadership college. If in doubt, give out a prize!

Don’t have an organizational vision? That’s okay, give out a prize.

Don’t have a new product to deliver to the market? No problem, give out a prize.

Have no clue what you’re doing? We feel you, give out a prize!

Prizes are a nice distraction from mediocrity. There easy and the honest truth is everyone likes winning a prize. Have you ever been somewhere, like a golf outing, where they pick raffle prizes and the prizes are all basically crap from vendors no one wants and people get so excited when their random number gets called! People clap. Hey, look, Mary won a prize! Good for her! Wonder what she’ll get? The tote bag or the portable battery that charges your phone up exactly once, yes!

But, we are put in this position because not everyone in our organizations can make unlimited money. So, we have to find ways to keep the troops motivated, and prizes seem to be the motivational tool of choice. The key to prize giveaways is that everyone has to believe they have a shot at winning, but not everyone wins.

If everyone wins a prize, it takes away from the prize value. If I win a car, I feel like the most special boy in the world. If everyone wins a car, it’s still great, but no as special.

Our greatest motivational tool of all time – the prize. Go give out one today!



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